Prince George’s County residents were treated to some upbeat news April 9 at a groundbreaking ceremony for construction of a massive project that local officials believe will mean millions of dollars in revenue and taxes and hundreds of new construction and retail jobs.
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, along with Prince Georges County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, state and local officials, and community leaders, made the announcement at a news conference unveiling the beginning of the construction on the new Maryland Department of Housing and Community (DCHD) headquarters at the New Carrollton metro station.
“These are projects that are community supporting, community building efforts, jobs created and economy growing projects,” Brown said during the news conference.
After a competitive bid process in May 2013 handled by the Maryland Department of General Service (DGS,) the lease for the new headquarters was approved by the Broad of Public Works.
Berman Enterprises LP is the county’s choice to be chief developer and property manager, the state announced. The firm is a multi-generational real estate and investment holding company that owns and manages more than 6.5 million square feet of commercial office and retail space in Maryland, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania in addition to hundreds of acres of developable land in Washington, D.C.
The construction is expected to be complete by 2015. The new DHCD headquarters building will create more than 132 permanent jobs, 325 construction-period jobs, and will also generate new tax revenues for Prince George’s County and the state of Maryland. This will bring a net economic benefit of $8 million over the 15-year period of the lease, according to county planning officials.
The coming of the new headquarters will bring more than 330 employers in the area, creating opportunities for restaurants, retail and other services.
The first phase of the project is $166 million, which will include 500 residential units and 65,000 square feet of retail space. Phase 2 of the project will incorporate up to 2,400 residential dwelling units, 100,000 square feet of retail space and a 300-room hotel. The state has committed to a 15-year lease on the property to be occupied by government offices.
“With our new headquarters as anchor for this transit-oriented development, the department will serve as a model for the principles of smart growth and sustainable communities,” DHCD Secretary Raymond Skinner said in a news release. “This is an ideal project that will combine housing, transportation, and retail space to revitalize the area.”
The construction of the purple line for the Metrorail system will complement the development, county officials added. The purple line will be a 16-mile light rail line that runs east-west inside the Capitol Beltway between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County with 21 stations that will provide direct connections to Metrorail’s Orange Line, Green Line and two branches to Metrorail’s Red Line and the MARC train’s Brunswick, Camden and Penn Lines.
“There is no doubt that this is going to happen, not only here, in Largo, Morgan Boulevard, Suitland and all there other places in Prince George’s County,” Baker said at the podium. “Prince George’s County is on the move.”